Through a variety of programs - for high school and college leaders to first-time political candidates and influential business and community leaders - the Sorensen Institute has established itself as a powerful and effective force for restoring public confidence in our political system. At the heart of every Sorensen program are three central themes: ethics in public service, the power of bipartisanship, and a concentrated study of public policy issues.
Our leadership development programs focus on Virginia residents interested in becoming active in public service.
Know someone who would be a good candidate for a Sorensen program? Tell us about them!
Meet the esteemed Sorensen alumni who have successfully completed our program and continued on to improve their communities.
Reported by Andrew Kendall (Craig County High School)
Today started with all of the students meeting in the Dome Room of the Rotunda. We all presented our final policy projects to the class as well as a panel consisting of Lauren Gilbert, Tom Walls, Chris West, and Jacqueline Hixson. Every presentation was well put together and very interesting. The projects presented had to do with criminal justice, education, environment, and public health. Each presentation raised some great points and everyone learned from them as well.
Reported by Ted McPhillips (Granby High School)
On our eleventh day here at the Sorensen Institute High School Leaders Program, we began with a study hall that allowed us to use valuable time with our policy groups to revise and add to our culminating projects. We read through the YPMs comments on our first full drafts, and worked as a team to fix the problems and weaknesses in our original plans.
Reported by: Thomas Liu (劉奐呈) (Langley High School) and Alex Moreno (Western Albemarle High School)
After an interesting Senate simulation on Sunday, Monday brought a movie, a variety of speakers and a unique lesson taught by Mr. Walls.
The movie A Perfect Candidate was about the 1994 senate race in Virginia between Ollie North and Chuck Robb. Learning about the issues in Virginia in 1994 and about the campaign style, which was very personal and combative, was thought-provoking and similar in some ways to current politics.
Reported by: Sabina Vohra (J.R. Tucker High School) and Alex White (Luray High School)
Having had a day off on Saturday, we jumped back into our busy schedule with an all-day Senate Simulation. Each of us had been assigned a Virginia Senator in advance to research and faithfully represent. The simulation was refereed by Mr. Walls as part of his class curriculum. John Metz acted as Governor and Caroline Bones played the role of Lieutenant Governor.